XDocs is a feature-rich enterprise DITA Component Content Management System (CCMS) from Bluestream.

XDocs content lifecycle
XDocs DITA content lifecycle

Create

Technical content come from three areas;

  1. Created (and curated) by Technical Authors.
  2. Created by casual SME (Subject Matter Expert) contributors.
  3. It comes from 3rd party applications such as PLM or ERP systems.

XDocs provides unrivalled support for all of these approaches. The leading XML authoring applications have been tightly integrated with XDocs. These include Oxygen XML Author (see white paper), XMetaL and Adobe FrameMaker. So writers can use their preferred tool to create content whatever that is.

Casual Contributors use WEX – Bluestream’s browser based app to review and create content.

XDocs connects to other systems (PLM, ERP etc.) via APIs. Data from these systems in then imported into XDocs. Thereby, putting additional information instantly in the hands of the tech pubs team. Thus minimising the risk of errors from out of date data and reduces the time taken to produce material.

Review

Before publishing, content often needs to be reviewed by SMEs. Relying on PDF or paper mark-up means this process is cumbersome. Multiple reviewers in the process makes it worse.

WEX is a web-based app for online review and contribution of DITA content. The premise behind the app’s development is simple – no training or installation required. The target audience for this application is anyone in the organization who needs to be part of the content lifecycle.

WEX has tight integration with the Oxygen Web Editor. However, integration with other DITA web-based XML editors (such as Fonto XML, XEditor, etc.) is also possible. WEX is role and workflow capability-centric. This can restrict what Users can see and do. This allows for greater control while delivering publications within a workflow. WEX also lets users add meaningful content when great ideas arise outside of workflow. Lastly, the WEX experience is completely transparent, with the interface resembling that of MS Word or a Wiki.

XDocs workflow engine provides even greater control.

WEX Brochure

Translate

DITA delivers major localization cost savings, however, the process must be fully managed.

XDocs streamlines the process and gives you dexterity in managing the task files in your project. The diagram below shows a simple workflow process. Here, content is authored and then localized into one or more target language.  This process can be repeated as shown.

localization diagram
Localization workflow

The module generates status reports, seamlessly handling content as a project manager moves the content through the steps. Returned content is localized, link-checked, and ready to be published for a global market.

XDocs Localization Module Brochure

Publish

Bluestream’s DDP lets you deliver DITA content to any device or platform: websites, apps, self-service portals etc. Content for the DDP comes directly from the CCMS and so is always up to date.

Fully customizable,the DDP and can be configured for a wide range of solutions. For example, the Knowledge Base Portal shown below.

Screen shot of XDocs Knowledge Base
Screen shot of XDocs Knowledge Base

Screen shot of XDocs Knowledge Base created by the XDocs Dynamic Delivery Platform

Alongside DITA, the DDP can also deliver video and audio content. Users can filter content by product, version, user type, and more. This makes your content much more accessible and more valuable to your customers.

The DDP enables agile, responsive delivery of approved content directly from your source server to any device or platform in any language. It can be used to create customer self-service portals. As a result, Users can search, browse, find, and share your approved knowledge assets faster and more efficiently.

Content comes directly from the CCMS, therefore, approved content can be immediately published online without risk of corruption. This tight integration means the DDP blends seamlessly with your content creation, review, management, and localization tools.

Dynamic Delivery Platform Brochure

Making Changes

All Bluestream products are designed to require the minimum of support from Bluestream or our partners once deployed. Therefore, Your own IT and web teams can configure and customise the DPP.

Additionally, XDocs comes with built-in features to support publish to a large variety of output formats. For example, publish content as of certain dates, publish to languages etc.

XDocs publishing uses the DITA OT and supports all DITA 1.3 features.

Manage

XDocs CCMS offers unrivalled management capabilities. Bluestream’s design philosophy is to provide as much flexibility as possible. This is achieved while minimising the customer’s reliance on Bluestream or other 3rd party assistance. XDocs provides clear management interfaces where content, users, projects, tasks, localization and much more can be easily controlled.

At the core of XDocs is a comprehensive SQL database rather than a simple ‘XML database’. The result is improved performance and reduced costs as all content assets are stored and curated within a single system.

Update

Periodic review and subsequent updating is a requirement of documentation in many industries, especially in the case of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures).

Using XDocs it is easy to find content that needs to be updated. Once updated, pass the content through your workflows, approval and localization processes. Then publish the approved, updated content, so your customers have access to the latest information.

Repeat

XDocs has many features to support your content through endless content lifecycles. For example, robust mechanisms to handle content versioning and branching. Features to allow you to create powerful extended metadata to assist with finding the content you need, and more.

Find

Instant access to the content you are looking for is vital. Whether you are an author looking for a content asset, a colleague looking for approved content or a customer seeking the solution to a problem via an online self-service portal. In XDocs finding content is easy, it ships with pre-configured searches and custom searches are easy to create.  XDocs’ excellent support and use of metadata further enhances this. There are also multiple ways to access data stored in XDocs. Instant access is available from within 3rd party XML authoring tools. Browser based searching for content via the web based CMPortal application is also available. The XDocs Dynamic Delivery Platform provides access to approved content.

Open standards

All XDocs modules and features are based on DITA and other open technologies such as BPMN 2.0 and OWL 2. The XDocs CCMS is a complete content management system, right out-of-the-box. It has all of the features that you need to create, manage, and deliver content. However, because it is based on open technologies, the possibilities for extension are endless.